Guidelines for the use of tumour markers
The purpose of this booklet is to give a brief background to enable the judicious use of seven widely performed serum cancer markers. The format used here is similar to that in previous editions.
In addition to these marker specific sections, the fourth edition saw the introduction of guidance on the difficult issue of Use of Tumour Markers in Diagnosing Cancer of Unknown Primary Origin (Occult Cancers).
In this 5th edition we have added a section on Therapy Predictive markers, commonly known as Companion Diagnostics.
Although use of serum marker half-life has declined in use, we have retained this information as it can be useful in determining response to treatment, particularly for markers AFP, hCG, and CA125.
While this booklet gives specific details relating to the most frequently used markers, we feel that it is important to make some general points about tumour marker tests. These are listed in Serum Tumour Markers - Key Points section.
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